How to find clothing manufacturers for your business in 2024

Updated on May 1, 2024
In this article
In this article

Key takeaways:

  • Utilize diverse sourcing methods such as trade shows, networking, and online platforms like Wonnda to explore various manufacturers, ensuring you find one that meets your specific requirements and quality standards.
  • Consider both domestic and overseas manufacturers based on their benefits, such as easier communication or cost efficiency, tailoring the choice to your business needs.
  • Prioritize thorough assessments through direct interactions, online research, and checking certifications to ensure manufacturers align with your business ethics and production goals.

Navigating the world of clothing manufacturing can seem daunting, especially as we move into 2024 where market dynamics and industry standards continue to evolve. This article aims to guide entrepreneurs and small business owners through the process of finding reliable clothing manufacturers. Whether you’re looking to launch a new fashion line or expand your existing brand, understanding how to effectively source the right manufacturing partner is crucial for ensuring quality, efficiency, and alignment with your business values and goals.

Where can I find clothing manufacturers?

If you want to effectively find clothing manufacturers, consider expanding your approach through several methods. When deciding on the methods, you have to remember that there are various benefits to evaluate and not all of them may be suitable for your business.

Trade Shows and Expos

Participate in industry-specific events where manufacturers showcase their capabilities. This direct interaction provides immediate insight into their quality, production scale, and specialization, helping you to see if it fits for your brand in real-time. You can ask about their fees for development, minimum order quantities, logistics, and payment conditions. This is a great opportunity to go over your production needs and see if their manufacturing capabilities are a good match for your brand. Attending these events also allows to build personal relationships with manufacturers, which can be valuable in forming successful business partnerships.


Leverage your industry contacts, join fashion and manufacturing groups, or participate in online forums, including Facebook groups dedicated to fashion and manufacturing. Networking within these platforms can lead to personal recommendations and insider knowledge about manufacturers’ reputations and operational strengths. Engaging in Facebook groups, in particular, provides access to a broad community where you can share experiences and learn from the success and challenges of others in your industry. This can enrich your network and open up new opportunities for collaboration and growth.

Search engines

Consider also using search engines to find clothing manufacturers. Conducting thorough research on potential manufacturers through search engines can provide valuable insights. By examining their portfolios, client testimonials, and press releases available online, you can assess their experience in your niche, dedication to quality, and adherence to ethical manufacturing practices. This in-depth research helps in making informed decisions about which manufacturers align best with your business values and quality standards.

Online Platforms

Utilize specialized platforms like Wonnda for vetted manufacturers. These platforms often include detailed profiles, reviews, and certifications, offering a reliable basis for initial screening. This extensive information helps you compare and contrast different manufacturers quickly, ensuring you find the best match for your production needs.

Trustpilot review

Wonnda offers a wide array of manufacturers and suppliers, especially in Europe, that meet our standards for quality and reliability.

– David T.

Private label buyer from Austria

Domestic vs. Overseas

When choosing a clothing manufacturer you can decide whether to partner with domestic manufacturers for better communication and quicker shipping or overseas manufacturers for cost efficiency. Each choice comes with its own set of benefits and challenges, such as tariff implications, shipping times, and minimum order requirements.

What to look for in a clothing manufacturer?

Before selecting a clothing manufacturer, consider several key factors to ensure they can meet your specific needs. This critical evaluation will help you determine which manufacturer aligns best with your production requirements and business objectives.

1. Type of clothing

First you should decide what type of clothing you want to produce. Then ensure the manufacturer has expertise in producing the specific type of clothing you require, such as activewear, luxury apparel, or children’s clothing. This specialization impacts the quality and appropriateness of their work.

2. Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ)

When it comes to quantity, how many items do you want to produce? Clarify the manufacturer’s MOQ to see if it aligns with your financial capacity and inventory strategy. This can greatly affect your ability to manage stock and meet demand without overproduction. The MOQ could range from 200 up to even 2000 items.

3. Level of quality

What level of quality are you looking for in your next clothing line? Do you need high-quality materials or are you more concerned with the price? It’s highly important to investigate quality control processes and standards of various manufacturers. High-quality manufacturing is crucial for customer satisfaction and brand reputation. On top of that, you should request samples to assess their craftsmanship firsthand.

4. Lead time and shipping costs

Evaluate their production timeline and shipping logistics. When do you need your garments to be ready? Faster lead times and reasonable shipping costs are essential for maintaining a fluid inventory and meeting customer expectations. Different companies have varying production timelines, ranging from weeks to months. If you require a faster turnaround for your garments, it’s important to ask about the production lead time before you place your order.

5. Production capacity

When choosing a manufacturer, it’s crucial to evaluate their ability to scale operations in response to your business’s growth or to manage seasonal peaks effectively. Verify if the manufacturer has the capacity to handle large orders within required deadlines, ensuring that you are well-prepared and fully stocked during high-demand periods. This capacity is essential to avoid missing opportunities during critical sales peaks, which can significantly impact your business’s profitability and customer satisfaction.

6. Price

Do you have a dedicated budget for sourcing and manufacturing? Are you looking for a lowest price possible or are you willing to pay higher price for a better quality? Analyze manufacturers’ pricing structure to ensure it matches your budget while still allowing for your desired profit margins. Remember, the lowest price isn’t always the best choice if it compromises quality.

7. Certification

Do you plan to launch a sustainable clothing brand? Look for certifications that may be important to your brand values, such as fair trade, organic, or eco-friendly manufacturing practices. These certifications can also be a selling point for your products.

8. Experience

A good garment manufacturer should have a lot of valuable experience and satisfied clients. Check their track record with businesses similar to yours. Experienced manufacturers often bring insights into product improvements and market trends. This was you can ensure that manufacturers are trustworthy and you will lunch a successful clothing brand.

9. Manufacturing location

Do you want to source from overseas or do you prefer to find a manufacturer in Europe? Consider the geographical location for logistical and ethical reasons. Manufacturing closer to your primary market can reduce costs and carbon footprint, while also ensuring labor practices align with your brand’s ethics.

How to source clothing manufacturers in 5 steps

Step 1: Research a clothing manufacturer and production model

Avoid putting yourself in difficult situations by missing crucial information before committing to a partnership with a manufacturer. When you’re contacted by a potential supplier, take the time to thoroughly investigate their website, phone numbers, LinkedIn profiles, products or even the quality of language.

Next, you need to choose both a manufacturing process and a production model that aligns with your business strategy:

CMT Production

“Cut, Make, Trim” production suits brands with established designs wanting full control over their design and packaging processes. Smaller companies with positive manufacturer relationships often opt for CMT. This model offers an excellent pathway for brands looking to oversee most of the manufacturing details while maintaining creative freedom.

FPP Production

The “Full Production Package” provides a complete service, ideal for brands entering the fashion world. This package includes design assistance, pattern creation, and final apparel production. While more costly than CMT, it simplifies market entry. This all-inclusive model is a favorite among brands seeking to save time and effort while ensuring professional handling of their product creation process.

Tech Pack

Providing a Tech Pack gives your manufacturer comprehensive detail, minimizing production misunderstandings. This foundational process ensures your production team aligns seamlessly. It forms a vital part of any manufacturing process by establishing clear communication and expectations with your chosen manufacturer.

Private Label Manufacturing

Choosing a private label manufacturing approach allows you to take advantage of an existing product design, while branding and marketing the product as your own. This option eliminates the need for product development and allows for quicker market entry. It’s a perfect solution for brands that want to focus on marketing and sales while leaving product creation to experts.

White Label Manufacturing

White label manufacturing is similar to private label, but these are typically generic or universally appealing products. The manufacturer produces them for multiple brands to rebrand and sell. This route is excellent for businesses looking to expand their product line quickly and efficiently without extensive investment in product development.

Contract Manufacturing

In contract manufacturing, you entrust the production of your designed products to an external firm. This model is great for businesses that have designed their unique products but lack the capacity or resources to produce them at scale.

Step 2: Conduct an audit

As a buyer, you can conduct onsite audits for new suppliers to confirm they meet the required standards. These audits typically review the supplier’s company and employee details, as well as product information, to match the specifications. In this step you can also verify wheter manufacturer has previously mentioned certifications.

It’s advisable to ask suppliers about any previous audits and request access to the audit reports. Although, be aware that if these reports were funded by other brands, confidentiality issues may prevent the supplier from sharing them.

Step 3: Ask for references

Requesting references from your supplier’s past or current clients can provide insights into their reliability and the quality of their work. While suppliers may be reluctant to share this information due to confidentiality or fear of negative feedback, it’s still worth asking. Understand that most orders encounter issues, whether minor or significant, and suppliers are aware that these may be disclosed by their clients upon inquiry. This can help you gauge the typical experience others have had with the supplier.

Step 4: Decide on payment terms

Setting clear payment terms is an effective way to avoid scams. These terms should clearly state that you will only pay the supplier after the job is completely finished. Using a Letter of Credit is one of the safest payment methods. It ensures that the supplier only gets paid after the bank confirms that all the job conditions have been met, reducing your risk.

Step 5: Consider inspections

Considering inspections is a critical step in the manufacturing process, especially when working with new suppliers or dealing with complex products. Regular inspections ensure that the production quality meets your standards and that the materials and final products align with your specifications. It’s advisable to schedule inspections at various stages: upon receiving the materials, during the manufacturing process, and before shipment. This proactive approach helps identify any issues early on, allowing for timely corrections and reducing the risk of receiving unsatisfactory final products.

Alternatives to clothing manufacturers

Exploring alternatives to traditional clothing manufacturing can significantly diversify your business model and potentially lower costs. Wholesale purchasing allows you to buy clothing in bulk at discounted prices for resale, offering the potential for high margins. Dropshipping is another strategic alternative where products are shipped directly from the supplier to the customer, thus eliminating the need for inventory management and reducing overhead costs. Print-on-demand services further minimize risk by only producing items as they are ordered, which is great for customized clothing lines or small test batches. Each alternative offers distinct benefits and challenges, making it crucial to consider which aligns best with your business goals and customer needs.


Finding skilled clothing manufacturers doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Utilizing this guide alongside platforms like Wonnda can streamline the process and make it more fulfilling. Wonnda focuses on sourcing products helping your brand enjoy the benefits of high-quality manufacturing and supporting local economies. If you’re ready to start your clothing manufacturing journey, Wonnda is here to help every step of the way, from finding the right manufacturer to launching your dream clothing line.

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About the author
Barbara Jankowska
Meet Barbara Jankowska, an upbeat and curious writer who originally comes from Poland. She moved to Berlin to pursue her Master's degree in International Marketing, where she developed her skills in research and analysis. Always eager to learn more, Barbara remains up-to-date with the latest trends and enjoys exploring new topics. Currently, Barbara is participating in an Erasmus exchange program in Porto, where she is discovering the unique culture and traditions of Portugal. Barbara's natural positivity and love of discovery make her a valuable new member of Wonnda. Her research and analysis skills, coupled with her ability to write engaging and informative content, ensure that she provides her readers with valuable insights and fresh perspectives on a range of topics.
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